Financials boost Indian shares even as energy stocks drag


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BENGALURU — Indian shares rose on Tuesday as gains in high-flying financials eclipsed losses in energy stocks fueled by a report that oil-marketing companies had been told by the government to not revise fuel prices for now.

By 0505 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index climbed 0.71% to 15,061.90 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.73% to 50,808.52, after rising as much as 1.1% earlier in the session.

The Nifty Bank Index advanced 1.39%, adding to last month’s near 14% gain. HDFC Bank Ltd rose 2.4% and was the top boost to the Nifty 50.

Energy stocks were the top losers with the Nifty energy index down about 1% after advancing 1.14% on Monday.

Gasoline and gasoil prices in India have risen to record highs of late, mirroring global markets. The central government has informally conveyed to India’s three major oil-marketing companies to not revise fuel prices ahead of polling in some states, the Business Standard newspaper reported

“Considering we have state elections…(the government) has no option but to control the prices,” said Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Religare Broking.

Last week, Reuters reported that the finance ministry was considering slashing excise duties on petrol and diesel to cushion the impact of record high domestic prices.

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Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd was the biggest percentage loser on the Nifty 50, falling 4.4%. Media reports separately said BPCL was likely to sell up to a 4% stake via a block deal on Tuesday.

Broader Asian markets fell on fears of rising bond yields, stretched company valuations and inflation fears, after a mixed session overnight on Wall Street.

“By the end of the day, we may again see the indices fizzle out, similar to the situation yesterday,” Mishra said.

The Nifty and Sensex closed flat on Monday after gaining more than 1% earlier in the session. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)